Proposed 2018 Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher MAX-C Mission

Proposed 2018 Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher MAX-C Mission PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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2. The MEPAG MRR-SAG has developed a concept for a Mars mission called Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C), which would:Have an in situ scientific exploration capability necessary to respond to discoveries by prior landers or orbital mapping missions.Collect, document, and cache samples for potential return to Earth by a future mission.Between its in situ functionality and its potential sample return-related functionality, be a key stepping stone to seeking the signs of life on Mars..

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Proposed 2018 Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher MAX-C Mission

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10. Proposed in situ Scientific Objectives for the MAX-C Mission Concept 10

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15. 15 Lower Left. Part of a 3.43 Ga stromatolite from the Strelley Pool Formation (Pilbara Craton, Australia), consisting of irregularly laminated dolomite/chert. A) plain light view of slabbed sample B) element map of iron (pink) and calcium (blue).  (contributed by Abby Allwood) Lower Right. Raman image from the MIL 03346 nakhlite.  Red = jarosite, green = goethite, blue = apatite.  The alteration products are martian in origin as seen by an elevated D/H ratio and trunctation of the alteration veins at the meteorite fusion crust.  More specifically (if you need it), this is a set of images of the mesostasis (with an orthopyroxene cumulate grain at upper right) featuring a feldspathic glass matrix with cristobalite, fayalite, a rare oxidized and vacancy-bearing olivine polymorph called laihunite, iron sulfides (pyrite), and magnetite after iron sulfide that is likely the source for the sulfur in the jarosite.  (contributed by from M. Fries and A. Steele, Carnegie Institution.   Upper Right. A basalt from Svalbard, Norway that was altered by hydrothermal processes. The yellow fluorescence features indicate the presence of 2 ring aromatic compounds lining the rim of a 2mm diameter vesicle.  The image to the left of it is a basalt that was altered by fluid processes, leaving behind some carbonates and hydrated minerals. The color overlay is a combination of deep UV Raman showing where the hydrated minerals are (purple). The other colors are the fluorescence emissions from 290 - 390 nm (deep UV excitation) and indicate the presence of a multitude of 1-3 ring aromatic compounds; including aromatic amino acids, flavins, quinones, cytochromes etc. (contributed by Rohit Bhartia). Lower Left. Part of a 3.43 Ga stromatolite from the Strelley Pool Formation (Pilbara Craton, Australia), consisting of irregularly laminated dolomite/chert. A) plain light view of slabbed sample B) element map of iron (pink) and calcium (blue).  (contributed by Abby Allwood) Lower Right. Raman image from the MIL 03346 nakhlite.  Red = jarosite, green = goethite, blue = apatite.  The alteration products are martian in origin as seen by an elevated D/H ratio and trunctation of the alteration veins at the meteorite fusion crust.  More specifically (if you need it), this is a set of images of the mesostasis (with an orthopyroxene cumulate grain at upper right) featuring a feldspathic glass matrix with cristobalite, fayalite, a rare oxidized and vacancy-bearing olivine polymorph called laihunite, iron sulfides (pyrite), and magnetite after iron sulfide that is likely the source for the sulfur in the jarosite.  (contributed by from M. Fries and A. Steele, Carnegie Institution.   Upper Right. A basalt from Svalbard, Norway that was altered by hydrothermal processes. The yellow fluorescence features indicate the presence of 2 ring aromatic compounds lining the rim of a 2mm diameter vesicle.  The image to the left of it is a basalt that was altered by fluid processes, leaving behind some carbonates and hydrated minerals. The color overlay is a combination of deep UV Raman showing where the hydrated minerals are (purple). The other colors are the fluorescence emissions from 290 - 390 nm (deep UV excitation) and indicate the presence of a multitude of 1-3 ring aromatic compounds; including aromatic amino acids, flavins, quinones, cytochromes etc. (contributed by Rohit Bhartia).

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17. Implications of Investigation Strategy 17

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25. Relationship Between in situ Science and Potential Sample Return 25

26. Proposed MAX-C Objectives 26

27. MAX-C Payload Concept 27

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35. Key Engineering Attributes/Support 35 Landing site access: Latitude (solar-powered mission): 25N to 15S Altitude: below ~0 km altitude (science team desires +1 km capability – achievable if total landed mass is contained) Landing ellipse: ~7 km radius Traverse Performance: Traverse design: ~10 km total; ~200 m/sol Slope/rock access: MER-like Robotic Arm/Tools: 5-DOF arm with rotary percussive coring/abrading tool Core directly into encapsulation sleeves* Bit change out provided Caching: Extractable cache of cores, individually encapsulated/capped Entire core handling/caching device enclosed and sealed with single entry port for core transfer*

36. 36 Cruise and EDL inheritance would minimize cost/risk: Clone of MSL cruise stage, entry body, and sky-crane landing system. Huge inheritance from MSL in both flight design and test hardware. Proposed rover system would be medium risk and medium cost: New intermediate scale of rover would be a new mechanical and thermal development, based on MSL and MER. High engineering component heritage from MSL. Some key new instruments. Technical challenges: Coring/caching system, fast rover navigation algorithms/hardware, hybrid distributed motor control. Planetary Protection and Contamination Control would drive an increment of cost and risk (medium). Technical challenges: Bio-cleaning, cataloguing, and transport modeling. The MRR-SAG’s cost estimate is in the range of $1.5-2.0B (RY$ for launch in 2018).

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38. MRR-SAG Conclusions Highest priorities: Respond to life-related discoveries/hypotheses by MSL, prior landed missions, orbiters, and telescopes. Commence the transition from the major programmatic strategy of “Explore Habitability” to “Seek Signs of Life.” For a potential future sample return campaign, reduce the risk as well as enhance the quality and value of the enabling engineering and science The proposed MAX-C mission would extend our surface exploration of Mars, make substantial progress towards the life goal, be intended as the first element of a possible sample return campaign. 38

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